August 31, 2011

Bits and Pieces - A truly random post

Hi lovers and friends.  How are ya?  I have about a bajillion posts in my head that I’d love to get out there.  I just need about 2 more hours in the day.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, right?  I kinda want to do that accent vlog.  I love hearing everyone’s voices/accents.  So fun.  I, however, cringe at my voice on camera, so I’m not too sure about it…

I did 4 things today that made me want to barf.  3 of those things were scheduling meetings with people at work.  Kind of important people.  I have never done these things before and I didn’t know what to say, how to schedule conference rooms, etc. and I felt like a dumbass asking.  But I asked and all was fine.  The fourth was drop $400 on 25 digital images of Cooper from the photographer we have used since he was born.  My parents paid for half (or honestly we wouldn’t have paid that), but makes my stomach drop just thinking about it.  I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of money for some images.  I will not go into my schpeel about this subject.  I will not. I will not.

I realized today that I haven’t told a single person at this awesome outfit I saw.  Y’all, it was epic.  Cooper and I were leaving Lowe’s a few weeks ago, and this woman was walking over to her big ‘ol truck.  She was wearing acid-washed jeans.  And a matching acid-washed denim halter top.  With a corseted back!!!!!!!!!  A corseted, acid-washed, denim halter top!!  And a baseball cap, clearly, because what else would you wear with that ensemble?  I wish I had taken a photo.

Cooper starts daycare tomorrow.  We call it school.  Because it makes me feel better.  I have never been sad about being a working mom (for the most part), but I have been crying like every day at work for the past couple of weeks!  I don’t know who I am.  I know it is good for him, he will make friends and learn stuff.  But it still makes me sad.  Mostly I’d like to skip over the first few days or weeks that it takes him to get used to it and skip to the time when he is used to it.  And likes it.  Hopefully.  Also, I want to take pictures of him on his first day in his room at school and stuff, but I also don’t want to linger, so I’m not sure what I’ll do…  I will say that Sunday when we left him in the nursery at church, he went right to the worker and walked off to play without a second look back at us, and he didn’t cry the whole time, just had a few almost-crying episodes, so that made me feel a little better.

I went clothes shopping this weekend.  For a few specific pieces.  What did I come home with?  Nothing I intended on getting or even remotely close to it!!  This always happens to me!!  I think that I am officially going to be a strictly online shopper.  It’s easier to keep myself in line.  If only every store/site had free shipping and returns!  Also, if anyone knows where I can get black skinny JEANS, please tell me.  I want actual jeans.  Not jeggings.  Even Gap’s Always Skinny black jeans are more jeggings than jeans.  It’s not a good look on me and not what I’m going for.  Can we get off the jegging obsession?  It would be great if jeggings were available in addition to regular skinny jeans, but it seems like every skinny jean is actually jeggings now and I don’t like it.  If you love jeggings, rock on sister, but my big ass thighs don’t look good in that much spandex!  Whew.  Clearly I feel strongly about this.

I did buy some slim cropped black work pants at Gap (as a substitute for the jeans) and I freaking LOVEEEE them!!  They are awesome.  I want to wear them every day.

In case you didn’t know, I like Gap.  Obvs.

I want a new name for my blog.  I have never liked this one, but I changed it quickly for some personal reasons and nothing I did like was available.  I am not creative enough to come up with something witty.  I need help.  I also want it to be 2 column instead of 3.  There’s too much wasted space on the left and it makes all of my posts seem super long. 

And on that note, I’ll wrap it up so this doesn’t seem super long.  Maybe I’ll post something of substance instead of rambling on about nothing.  Like how I’m doing on freezing meals, or perhaps, some recipes we’ve tried with that!  Oh the anticipation!

August 17, 2011

A New Way of Cooking Dinner?

If you follow me on Pinterest, then you probably know my little secret.

No, I don’t mean the secret that I love junk food.

No, not the secret that I am (apparently) obsessed with Halloween d├ęcor.

No, not the one where I can’t decide how I want to decorate any room in my house.

Clearly, Pinterest gives away a lot of dirty little secrets.

I’m talking about my current obsession with freezer meals.

You see, with my current 8-5 schedule at work (I used to work 7-4 which was amazing), and the commute home, I don’t get home until around 5:45 these days.  I used to get home at 4:30 at the latest.  And that one hour + some?  That is a precious hour to lose!  An hour that I could have spent with Cooper.  So, now that I get even less time with him before his 6:45 bedtime, I refuse to spend it rushing around the kitchen cooking a full dinner (and yes, I do want to cook dinner every night).  I had a hard adjustment to all of this when we moved and I started my new job.  Which I know may sound ridiculous, because it’s only an hour less and most working parents face this every single day.  But, it was new to me and I was trying desperately to figure out a solution that would enable to me to get dinner on the table AND spend some quality time with my baby. (Cooper doesn’t eat what we eat for dinner, mostly because he eats so early and goes to bed often before dinner is even fished.)

Pinterest to the rescue!! I started seeing pins of freezer meals.  Some with pictures of freezers stocked full of pre-made, ready to bake, dinners.  I couldn’t pin those fast enough!  Once I pinned, and eventually followed the link (is it just me, or do y’all obsessively pin but never get around to clicking through to the link?), I was hooked.  This was totally do-able!  I decided that I would cook several meals once a week, or a couple times a month, on a weekend.  That way, we would have dinner mostly made and I could just pop it in the oven, on the stove, or (nest of all!) in the crock pot and then I could enjoy my precious time with Cooper.

I actually ordered a book, Don’t Panic Dinners in the Freezer, which has some great information on how-to’s and some really great husband-approved recipes!  For us, it’s not really sensible to make a TON of freezer meals, just because we simply don’t have the freezer space(although in unrelated discussions, we do want to eventually get a second fridge or freezer only for the garage, so maybe in the future that would be a possibility).  I also do worry about keeping things in there for too long, one of my main concerns with this whole idea is that the frozen meals won’t taste very good, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that.  Anyway, I decided to start small and just make one weeks-worth of meals last weekend.  But, I made two of each meal, to save for another time.  I got the idea from the book.  Genious!! 

So last Sunday, I made 2 casseroles, enough meatballs for 3 meals, enough marinated chicken for 3 meals, and enough pork chops for 4 meals.  All of that, in less than an hour and a half!  Seriously!  And, because we don’t usually eat an entire recipe, some of the recipes, as you can see, made 3 or 4 separate meals for us.  And?  I did it all while Cooper was napping :)  I had told Lee my idea, and he didn’t understand how it would really save time, but once I told him everything I’d made in that amount of time, he took back his negative comments!  And this way, Lee can even cook his own dinner sometimes, because it’s pretty easy (even for him) to pull something out of the freezer and put it in the oven. (The poor man can’t cook)

I have to be honest and say that we have yet to eat a frozen meal because our schedule has been a little weird this week, but I’ll be sure to let you know how they all turned out!

August 11, 2011

The end. For now.

So, remember when I talked about how Cooper is on a waiting list for daycare?  I have been waiting patiently to call and ask very nicely if they can possible give me some kind of tentative maybe possible date/month that he would get in.  It’s only been about 3-4 weeks, but I am impatient, we all know.  And, my dad has been asking :/

Then yesterday happened and I read KLaw’s post in which she was elated that her son finally got into their daycare of choice.  Almost a year and a half after he was put on the waiting list.  Immediately I thought “Yay!” Then, “Oh…shit…it can take over a year.  Must call daycare.” 

I know.  It can take over a year.  This is an obvious statement to anyone with a child.  WHY was I not thinking clearly about this?  I am fully aware of the ridiculous lists that daycares have and I know how hard it can be to get in.  I just was hoping for the best I guess.  I don’t know what I was doing.  Honestly, I don’t have half the brain that I had pre-Cooper.

Anyway, I called to ask if they could give me any kind of remotely approximate month that he would be able to get in.  I’m not asking for a specific date and time here.  It’s annoying that they won’t give me at least an idea.  She gives me the whole dance about how she really just can’t tell how long anyone will be on the wait list, blah, blah.  I mean, come on lady, I just want to know if it would be in the next couple of months.  Then she tells me there are 20 one year olds waiting on the class.  A class that holds like 10ish kids.  Yes, I knew the 20 kids thing, but for some unknown idiotic reason, I didn’t think it was 20 kids waiting on HIS class.  I thought overall, 20 kids.  I know, I am dumb.  FINALLY, that’s when I started to have a moment of clarity.  Then she tells me how they are going to have an expansion, and she would definitely be able to tell me more in JANUARY.  I think that’s when I blacked out.  January?  HOW could I have been thinking so stupidly?!  Duh!!  It’s not just some little list and he’s going to get in in September (when we were hoping for).  Clearly, we need to find something to do in the meantime.  I silently freaked out for the remainder of Wednesday afternoon, going over our limited options.

Basically we have two options.  Either put him on the other, shorter list for our 2nd choice daycare.  Or, find someone to come to our house and watch him 3 days a week.  I (well, we) prefer the structure of an actual daycare, not to mention the possible risks and what-ifs and logistics of finding a person to come to our house and watch him. There are lots of unknowns there, even though I know it CAN work out great (I found a mutually awesome (meaning I was awesome and so was the family :) ) nanny job through the newspaper when I was in college), but I didn’t want to go through that process if I didn’t have to.

This morning I called 2nd choice daycare, praying that no one else had been added to the list since we toured in July.  I cringed as I asked if she could possibly tell me what the chances are of getting him enrolled in September.  You know what?  Not only had no one been added to the list, but there was NOT a list!  She said she could enroll him over the phone!  For September!!  Yay!!! 

This is a huge weight lifted.  I’m not totally thrilled with having an interim daycare, since it’s just one more routine he will get in to only to have that disrupted as well, because we still ultimately want Cooper to go to the 1st choice, and he is still on the list, but for now, this is what we have to do. 

And, let me say that this 2nd daycare is very highly recommended (I’m surprised they have an opening) and we do love it.  To be completely honest, it’s only our 2nd choice because it is about 30% more expensive than the 1st choice, and we didn’t like it 30% more.

Once again, the chapter is only temporarily closed on daycare.  But at least now I won’t be constantly stressed out that we are wearing my dad out and overwhelmed with guilt that we are taking advantage of him.  I’m interested to see how Cooper does in daycare, with other kids.  He gets so excited to see other kids his age when we are out (it’s kind of embarrassing when he stares at them or goes up to strangers and pats them on the back, haha), so I think he will be excited about having friends to play with :)

August 8, 2011

14 Months

Dear Cooper,

Today you turned 14 months old.  I was going to cut back on these posts after your birthday, and only write every three months, but you are just doing so much these days that I just had to write it all down.

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Let’s see…I guess we should start where we left off, at 12 months.

About a week after your birthday, you started walking!  I stood you on the ground and you walked all the way across Poppa and Grandma’s living room!  We were in shock!  And you haven’t slowed down since.  You now love to run, well, your version of running!  You love to be chased by daddy or me, and you especially love to chase the dogs.  They aren’t fans, surprisingly :)

You also love when your dad lets you sit on his back while he crawls on the floor.  This gets HUGE belly laughs from you.  You just think it is hilarious!  We started brushing your teeth about a month ago, and although we were unsure as to how you would like it, we were pleasantly surprised that you LOVE brushing your teeth.  You smile the whole time.  I think you mostly love the flavored toothpaste.

Recently, you have really started picking up on everything.  It’s amazing to realize that you suddenly know something.  You know where your toes, ears, and mouth are.  When we ask you if you want to brush your teeth, you point to your tongue.  When we get ready to go somewhere, I’ll say “Okay Buddy, let’s go bye bye”, and you will stop anything you’re doing, and walk to the garage door!  If we ask if you’re ready for a bathtub or night night, you will walk over to the stairs and pull on the gate.  If we say “shoes”, you point to your feet!  You are so smart! :)

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You have been sleeping in much later than you used to!  We are LOVING this!  You now go to bed around 7pm (although I do think you would stay up later if we let you) and sleep until anywhere from 7:30-8:30 the next morning!  Soooo much better than the old days of 5 am wake ups every morning!  I do feel badly that we have to wake you up at 6:30 on weekdays though.  And, I have to admit, weekends are not nearly as productive, haha.

You are still quite the picky eater.  One day you will love something, and the next day you will hate it.  You still throw your food on the floor all the time, whether you like it or not.  Luckily you love pretty much all fruits and veggies.  I believe strawberries are your favorite right now, you could eat your weight in them!  You also love “smoothies” which is really just milk+yogurt.  You get one of those most mornings on the way to Poppa’s house.  I can’t believe I let you have it in the car.  But so far, no issues so we’ll continue that.

You drank out of a straw for the first time a few weeks ago, and you thought that was so fun, haha :) You also love to drink straight out of cups like we do.  We also went out to eat a few weeks ago, which is something that we very rarely do.  You were not in the best mood, and you aren’t used to eating out, so we were prepared to have to leave, but you did so well!  You loved the attention from everyone in the restaurant, and you hammed it up, showing your big cheesy grin to anyone who talked to you.  It was a relief to know that if we wanted to go out to eat with you more often, we could.  We just don’t eat out much in general.

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You still aren’t really talking yet.  You say “Dah” for dog, and when asked “What does the dog say?”, you will usually say “woof”, which is pretty much the most adorable thing.  And actually it sounds more like “woosh”, but you know what you’re saying :)  You say Dada (sometimes said “ahda”), and I thinkyou know who that is.  You are just now starting to sort of, sometimes, say Mama.  Usually you will say it, then I will say “Mama?” and you will say “ahda!”, which is Dada, so that’s awesome.  Poor Mama. ;)

You are very opinionated.  You don’t like to be told no, but who does?  We had a couple of rough weeks/months adjusting to this new side of your personality, because before, you were so easy going, and really never threw a fit.  But now we are pretty used to you having an opinion about what you want to do.  You are still pretty easy going, most of the time.  But, you are also learning to throw a pretty good temper tantrum.  Honestly, I can’t help but laugh when you get so mad that you throw yourself on the ground and cry.  It’s a pretty dramatic reaction to being told “no” to eating dog food or touching the hot stove.  But, it’s also a pretty good sign that you’ve inherited some of your Mama’s personality :)

You were a little sick a week or so ago, so we took you to the doctor.  When they weighed you, you were almost 2 pounds heavier than you were at your 12 month appointment!  I wasn’t really surprised, you had seemed like you were heavier to pick up.  You are wearing 12-18 month clothes, a size 4 diaper, and a size 5 shoe.  Your hair is getting thick and it grows so fast!  You had it cut 2 months ago, and you are already overdue for another trim.  It’s also getting very wavy on top and curly in the back.  We have to wet it down every morning and comb it.

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You have 6 full teeth right now.  Two on top, and 4 on bottom.  Your other top two, on either side of the middle, are poking through, and I think that you are starting to get your one year molars.  I thought I’d be sad for you to lose your gummy smile, but I love seeing those little teeth when you smile or laugh, they are adorable!

Basically, you’re the best little boy ever.  Your daddy and I love you to piece and we can’t imagine what we ever did without you.  Happy 14 months, Coopie!

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